While bigger screens always look more impressive, they also demand far more from the battery. Although the R720’s 17.3in display is LED backlit, it certainly took its toll. Powered by a 4000mAh battery, we recorded just 1hr 23mins – exactly one hour less than the 15.6in R522 was capable of. This figure was obtained with the R720 under strain, though, and in a slightly less punishing test we managed four minutes shy of two hours. Turn down the brightness, avoid processor-intensive applications, and you'll get closer to three hours usage.
Good value compared to the competition
So how does the R720 compare to other big-screen laptops we've looked at? Toshiba's A350-12J Toshiba's A350-12J is similarly priced, though it has a slightly smaller 16in display and more restrictive native resolution of 1366 x 768. It also relies on integrated graphics and therefore doesn't offer the gaming opportunities of the R720.
The Asus F70SL is more comparable in terms of the display (17.3in, 1600 x 900) and its Nvidia GeForce 9300M GS is capable of a modicum of gaming, but it has a slower processor and is also a fair bit more expensive at £779. All of which makes the R720 look rather good value at just £599.
It's also worth mentioning that Dell has a Studio 17 laptop available for £579, but its resolution of 1366 x 768 and slightly slower Radeon HD 3650 graphics card give the Samsung's R720 the edge.
The 17.3in screen looks good and, despite Samsung's decision to go with a Pentium Dual Core processor, the R720 returned some decent benchmark scores. Perhaps most surprising was the 3D performance afforded by the Radeon HD 4330 graphics card. Yet again, though, we’re dismayed at Samsung’s decision to leave out 802.11n wireless, while some of the keys losing their texture so quickly was also a concern. However, at £599 it's very reasonably priced for a 17in laptop. If you can forgive its minor flaws, the Samsung R720 is a decent, albeit relatively low-powered, desktop replacement. ®
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Samsung R720 17.3in notebook
it IS 802.11N
i have one, got it last week. and it has an intel wi-fi link 5100 AGN adapter.
i actually DO have use for a numeric pad. it's where i put the hot keys for my DJ apps. VERY handy indeed.(i used to take a usb keyboard with my when djing for this now i don't need to!)
one of the points that i got this an insurance replacement for my (in my opinion) shitty vaio was that i could get XP drivers for it.
this is essential as the sub decks/mixer i have doesn't have vista/w7 drivers and the software is crapioca on vista and dead on w7.
thus dual booting with this is a BREEZE.
also samsung support is local to me here in Edinburgh and i know a few of the guys there. they know their stuff and are very good at what they do. i have my A+ and it's nice to speak to support dudes who are not only local but not screen reading muppets with no knowledge what so ever.
all in all a very nice laptop. would say it's a desktop replacement for my beast of a quad core with 4870 but very nice piece of kit nonetheless. i'd recommend it
It's a pretty...
...wretched desktop that this thing would replace.
Noooo, not the numeric keypad
I have absolutely no use for a numeric keypad. If I really need one I'll buy a separate one.
On the other hand, using that space for proper arrow keys and Insert through PageDown like a standard keyboard would be a huge selling point as far as I'm concerned. I'd pay a premium for it.
Anyone else feel that way?
If you folks at the register think it's worth relaying that to laptop manufacturers then PLEASE do.
I guess they could offer a choice even but maybe it wouldn't make economic sense to have two models.
How easy is it to upgrade?
How easy is it to upgrade- a few words about ease of changing the wireless card and how easy it is to remove the cooling fan and upgrade the processor, would be nice. If you plonked a T9800 and an Intel 5300 wireless card in this- it would go like a bullet. Admittedly- thats another £200- but it would be well worth it.........?